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Initial observations: Blizzard 8.5ti Magnum 181: UPDATED WITH REVIEW - Page 2

post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

85 (ish) is the new 98.icon14.gif

 

Yeah, i was in that camp too but the reality of life on the slopes is that even for soft snow environments the mid 80's really does everything very well and better in many respects than the 98's. Although the 98 camp is split into ski's like the E98's, Bones,  Mantra's and then the S3, the One, Sickle, soul riders.  The former do much better on the conditions we are discussing but the extra width (for most conditions) doesn't provide any advantage. 

 

Here's a reason why ski shops should be on Epic. If you were reading the threads and reviews from last winter and spring, you would have seen a shift towards the 80 something ski preference. 

 

This!

 

To me the bone is a hybrid bigmountain / front side ski, which doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. 

 

To me the 85 was about as good or better at everything resort oriented vice the bone - other than light freeride. 

post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

 

This!

 

To me the bone is a hybrid bigmountain / front side ski, which doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. 

 

To me the 85 was about as good or better at everything resort oriented vice the bone - other than light freeride. 

This was where I was going with that "anyone impressed with how good all-mountain skis have become?" thread.  It is sweet that we are getting away from the AC50 ultra-carver and more toward true, do-everything all-mountain skis that are wide enough for moderate new snow, stiff enough for firm snow, have good flex for bumps and tight spaces, and don't ski railed like a full-on carver.  There are a bunch of skis that are really well rounded these days, much more so than in the past, in that 80's/low 90's width, the real sweet spot for everyday skiing (aside from big dumps).  I think it was at Snowbird last year, when Kevin was on his Peak 84 (it hasn't snowed in several days) and he was saying "man, this is the best ski possible for skiing the Bird if it hasn't snowed in awhile. This thing rips bumps and any off-piste crusties or soft snow.  I can't out-ski it in 184 either". 

post #33 of 57
 
 
 

This has been an interesting thread and one that keys on several thoughts that have been on my mind lately.

 

First, the question of the appropriate width to get the job done.  Many moons ago I started a thread where I dubbed skis with a width in the 70s the "lost waist width".  At the time I saw no point for those skis any more (and many argued against my proposition tongue.gif), but this was just before I began to finally really improve my skiing technique after many years of languishing stuck in a rut.  Over the past few years my quiver has become significantly narrower (I actually own more skis in the 70s than anything else now) and at the same time much wider than before (many skis in the mid 90s, 100s, and 110s).  Now that I have the ability to achieve much higher edge angles I've learned the true value of skis narrower than 80mm and I actually feel the performance difference in edging speed and strength when I'm on anything wider when skiing hard pack.

 

Second, the introduction of rise/rocker and its increasing presence on narrower skis (and not just "marketing" rocker).  Originally I felt that there was absolutely no time when I would want to have rocker added to a narrower ski, but if the design is done right (when there's a good marriage of the sidecut to the rocker profile like Blizzard has done well on many of their models) you truly do end up with a decent 50/50 ski, but it's definitely a compromise - it may not particularly excel at the extremes, but it has sufficient performance to handle a lot of different skiing situations.  If you're not going to own a pile of skis, then you're going to value versatility over skis that have a more narrow focus.

 

But... I am no longer skiing much of anything with a width in the 80s.  For me (and I emphasize the me) it's become the "lost waist width", but I won't claim this time around that it should be lost for everyone.  It's just that since I'm a "quiver" guy, the 70s/90s/110s three ski quiver idea works well for the way I ski and where I ski.  I'm just finding skis in the 80s to be too much of a compromise for hard snow skiing and not enough of an advantage when it comes to softer snow conditions (variable terrain).

 

And I'll end this with a question for quiver guys (and I know Finn is on the team), if you own a mid 80s ski and a mid 90s ski, AND you have a quiver of narrower and fatter skis, when would you choose the 80s or the 90s ski?  For me, if it hasn't snowed in a while and I'm not going to venture off-piste much at all then it's going to be a narrower ski in the 70s.  If I am on the hunt for soft snow (even though there may not be any recent fresh) then I'll go with a 90s ski since I won't be spending much time on the hard pack.  Does the Blizzard 8.5 Ti have a place in a large quiver?

 
post #34 of 57

To me, if I have more than 3 skis in the active quiver it gets confusing. I own many more, but they are basically retired. 

 

I think how you build your quiver is all about how you ski and where. 

 

I think the 8.5ti is a nice skinny ski in a UT for me. 

post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

To me, if I have more than 3 skis in the active quiver it gets confusing.

3 skis is the ideal quiver. Well, maybe 4..but no more than 5..6 is a nice round number..7 is indeed a lucky number..if you are going to ski a lot of powder, 8 works well..9 skis is 3 times better than 3...10 works well skiing east and west, 11 is always an option 12 gives you a dozen and why not a bakers dozen of 13....

post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

 
 
 

 

  Does the Blizzard 8.5 Ti have a place in a large quiver?
 

 

Well...........it does in mine. At least when it comes down to skis I actually own.......ummmm......as opposed  to skis I sorta own.

 

Something "racelike"...........For me this is a luxury but with no new in a week, I'll be out on the groomers trying to remember how to rip a race turn. For me, this is a Course Ti or Head iSpeed Mag. These skis will put challenge into a groomer day if you are a fairly technical skier. Nothing else does this specific job as well.

 

"Versatile frontsider"............For days when there is not much (if any) depth, and the off trail hasn't consolidated completely. This is the true reality of off piste skiing most of the time. For me, a Mag 8.5 Ti, Outland 87, or Rev 90 are three great choices here. These will handle the three days ago snow weirdness, old crud, and the firmish groomers equally well. For my tastes, this is not a "lost ski" at all. In fact, you can make the case that this is really the ski that the majority of skiers should be on. Of course.....everybody is all geeked out about deep snow these days even when they only see it once or twice a year. Hence the current trend is toward...............

 

The great 98's (ish): To be honest, most folks that buy these don't really need the width but nevertheless they want it. These make the quintessential "expert daily driver" for Tahoe and the west. If the skier really does "ski the whole mountain" and spends as much as 50% of his time in snow with some depth. This is the ski to look for when you are going to have only one. This approx width is what has lived in my car for the last four years or so in Tahoe and is a great choice if you can only have one.

 

The Rest: Above 108mm or so, most of the offerings feel too specialized (to me) to use very often. They are useful of course and fun to have when the snow is (real world) 12" plus but really, how many times a year do most folks see that? Some skiers will see quite a few days like that but most don't. For me, this category is way over-hyped and actually not all that important if you have a 98-102'er

 

SJ

post #37 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

To me, if I have more than 3 skis in the active quiver it gets confusing. I own many more, but they are basically retired. 

 

I think how you build your quiver is all about how you ski and where. 

 

I think the 8.5ti is a nice skinny ski in a UT for me. 

  To Noodler as well, 

 

why a quiver and can the 8.5ti be a part? - Yes, absolutely and I really have a 3 ski quiver

 

easy, its a purely a matter of just liking skis. My quiver is ever changing because I enjoy skiing different ski's. I am not looking for the perfect mix; just what I enjoy skiing. 

this year I am skiing:

 

8.5's for just about everyday nothing new- Core Ski in Quiver

Bone's- this is going to be a great few inches, heavier snow- Core ski in quiver

Soul Rider- pure fun ski, its a ski that I wont travel with, it will be a good tool for softer snow in the trees and some side country. Its a luxury. Not needed, just wanted. 

DPS112- my go to pow ski. - Core Ski in quiver

DPS 138- luxury ski, taking up to BC for deep cat skiing and some deep days here.  Not needed, just want

 

WHAT"S NEXT?- the next new, must have ski will be the 102-105 ski. Already showing up in the Ritual, PB&J, Access and a couple of others. More to come I am sure. 


Edited by Finndog - 12/6/12 at 6:24am
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

 Of course.....everybody is all geeked out about deep snow these days even when they only see it once or twice a year. Hence the current trend is toward...............

 

The great 98's (ish): To be honest, most folks that buy these don't really need the width but nevertheless they want it.

This is my point exactly.  Let's be honest: most people, even enthusiastic skiers, ski fewer than 30 days a year.  I know, I know, some of you do -- patrollers, ski bums, folks in the business.  But the majority of the ski-buying public probably skis even less than 30 days a year.  That means a fair number of days NOT in the fresh or deep.  And in the East????  Let's be real: maybe 15 true "powder" days a year, often less.  And often not on days where lots of folks will be able to ski (Wednesdays, etc.).  So why are so many easterners buying 90's and/or soft snow skis???

 

Maybe in the Tahoe area or LCC a 90's ski makes sense.  But not where I live and (mostly) ski.

post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

3 skis is the ideal quiver. Well, maybe 4..but no more than 5..6 is a nice round number..7 is indeed a lucky number..if you are going to ski a lot of powder, 8 works well..9 skis is 3 times better than 3...10 works well skiing east and west, 11 is always an option 12 gives you a dozen and why not a bakers dozen of 13....

 

A response that can only come from the amazingly fertile Philpug mind! 

 

 

This thread is a fun read, far more entertaining and thought provoking than the intent of the OP and a subsequent first days on-snow review. I'll await Finn's extended report when he takes the  8.5 into the stuff he really likes to ski, and, it's great to have him back posting about actually skiing. And thanks to Dog and SJ for expanding the knowledge base of this Blizzard ski is all about. What strikes me most is that we all need to "know ourselves" when considering ski selection, and, that knowledge is not static year to year. If there is a ski to be added to my quiver this season, the low 80's waist with some versatility will be the purchase for this eastern skier.

post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post

 

A response that can only come from the amazingly fertile Philpug mind! 

 

 

This thread is a fun read, far more entertaining and thought provoking than the intent of the OP and a subsequent first days on-snow review. I'll await Finn's extended report when he takes the  8.5 into the stuff he really likes to ski, and, it's great to have him back posting about actually skiing. And thanks to Dog and SJ for expanding the knowledge base of this Blizzard ski is all about. What strikes me most is that we all need to "know ourselves" when considering ski selection, and, that knowledge is not static year to year. If there is a ski to be added to my quiver this season, the low 80's waist with some versatility will be the purchase for this eastern skier.

Mike, I think you could be happy on the Magnum 8.0Ca, a real nice value from this family of skis. 

post #41 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Mike, I think you could be happy on the Magnum 8.0Ca, a real nice value from this family of skis. 

 

 

that would be perfect

post #42 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

 
 
 

This has been an interesting thread and one that keys on several thoughts that have been on my mind lately.

 

First, the question of the appropriate width to get the job done.  Many moons ago I started a thread where I dubbed skis with a width in the 70s the "lost waist width".  At the time I saw no point for those skis any more (and many argued against my proposition tongue.gif), but this was just before I began to finally really improve my skiing technique after many years of languishing stuck in a rut.  Over the past few years my quiver has become significantly narrower (I actually own more skis in the 70s than anything else now) and at the same time much wider than before (many skis in the mid 90s, 100s, and 110s).  Now that I have the ability to achieve much higher edge angles I've learned the true value of skis narrower than 80mm and I actually feel the performance difference in edging speed and strength when I'm on anything wider when skiing hard pack.

 

Second, the introduction of rise/rocker and its increasing presence on narrower skis (and not just "marketing" rocker).  Originally I felt that there was absolutely no time when I would want to have rocker added to a narrower ski, but if the design is done right (when there's a good marriage of the sidecut to the rocker profile like Blizzard has done well on many of their models) you truly do end up with a decent 50/50 ski, but it's definitely a compromise - it may not particularly excel at the extremes, but it has sufficient performance to handle a lot of different skiing situations.  If you're not going to own a pile of skis, then you're going to value versatility over skis that have a more narrow focus.

 

But... I am no longer skiing much of anything with a width in the 80s.  For me (and I emphasize the me) it's become the "lost waist width", but I won't claim this time around that it should be lost for everyone.  It's just that since I'm a "quiver" guy, the 70s/90s/110s three ski quiver idea works well for the way I ski and where I ski.  I'm just finding skis in the 80s to be too much of a compromise for hard snow skiing and not enough of an advantage when it comes to softer snow conditions (variable terrain).

 

And I'll end this with a question for quiver guys (and I know Finn is on the team), if you own a mid 80s ski and a mid 90s ski, AND you have a quiver of narrower and fatter skis, when would you choose the 80s or the 90s ski?  For me, if it hasn't snowed in a while and I'm not going to venture off-piste much at all then it's going to be a narrower ski in the 70s.  If I am on the hunt for soft snow (even though there may not be any recent fresh) then I'll go with a 90s ski since I won't be spending much time on the hard pack.  Does the Blizzard 8.5 Ti have a place in a large quiver?

 


I know what you are getting at when referring to the 80 width as a lost width.  For me personally, unless I am on a full carver, I could go anything from 70-85mm for frontside performance, although the only standout for me above 80mm in terms of true carving potential is the MX83.  It is probably the one ski in the category that could reasonably approximate the performance of a carver.  It is just there aren't many versatile frontside skis under 80mm anymore.  Probably if I had my way, I would be on a versatile ski around 75mm wide (the MX78 comes to mind); something mid-90's for moderate soft snow and pretty much jack of all trades, and 115 for deeper days.

 

As far as your question goes: I would rather be on the 80's ski for most of those days.  If I am hunting for soft snow, but there isn't much to be had, at my weight, 80mm of waist width isn't going to slow me down much, so I don't really care if I am on an 80 or 90mm waist ski.   I really need 8+ inches of moderate density snow to be where I need/want more ski than my MX83 provides. Of course, I could easily be on a 70's ski, it just is there aren't as many out there these days that fit the bill.  This is coming from a guy that typically has 3 go-to quiver skis.  I could have more, but don't want to get too specialized.  For example, owning a full-blown carver is fun for about 3 runs, but then I want to go ski bumps, and really aren't interested in making a trip back to the car.

post #43 of 57
Thread Starter 

just making the point that the width isn't telling the whole story any more. 

post #44 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

just making the point that the width isn't telling the whole story any more. 


Very true, but it's the easy way out when describing skis and I think skiers "in the know" get that there's more to it.

post #45 of 57
 
 
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

WHAT"S NEXT?- the next new, must have ski will be the 102-105 ski. Already showing up in the Ritual, PB&J, Access and a couple of others. More to come I am sure. 

 

If you end up going with the PB&J then our quivers will almost be like brothers from different mothers. wink.gif

 
post #46 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post

 

A response that can only come from the amazingly fertile Philpug mind! 

 

 

This thread is a fun read, far more entertaining and thought provoking than the intent of the OP and a subsequent first days on-snow review. I'll await Finn's extended report when he takes the  8.5 into the stuff he really likes to ski, and, it's great to have him back posting about actually skiing. And thanks to Dog and SJ for expanding the knowledge base of this Blizzard ski is all about. What strikes me most is that we all need to "know ourselves" when considering ski selection, and, that knowledge is not static year to year. If there is a ski to be added to my quiver this season, the low 80's waist with some versatility will be the purchase for this eastern skier.

 

Bingo. 

post #47 of 57

I can't remember for the life of me what the length was of the 8.5 Ti that I demoed last season.  If it was the 181, then it really felt short.  I have a feeling that what I skied wasn't really long enough for me.  I remember underestimating just how much rocker there was on that ski and I should have sized it like I do a bigger rocker ski. 

 

I see bigger guys on the 184 DPS 112RP at Loveland all the time and think to myself that they "wussed out" by not going with the 190.  In general I think skiers have been slow to come around to the fact that they can/should go much longer on skis with significant rocker.

post #48 of 57
Thread Starter 

my hunch is you demoed the 174 which seems to be the "demo" length. The 181 doesn't ski long; feels more like a 176/78 to me. It really doesn't have a lot of rise.  When on edge, it makes full contact with the snow.  IMHO, +1 is where it should be mounted if you are skiing neutral. The ski really comes alive here.  Notice that this picture was taken on firm groomed snow with just a little loose. The tips are fully engaged (yeah, I know I have an issue with the inside knee leading the turn.... :) ) 

 

 

1000

 

This was taken in some looser stuff but notice the ski is still engaged and making full contact

 

 

1000


Edited by Finndog - 12/8/12 at 5:05am
post #49 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Living Proof View Post

 

............................................. I'll await Finn's extended report when he takes the  8.5 into the stuff he really likes to ski, and, it's great to have him back posting about actually skiing. .. .......

beercheer.gif

post #50 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post

beercheer.gif

Believe me, its GOOD to BE posting about skiing again. That really sucked.   are we gonna ski together this season? 

post #51 of 57

Why of course we are. Where is the only question.

post #52 of 57

Finally, I will get to make some turns. Hopefully it won't rain too much in Northern MI today and wash all the coverage.  I will report on the 8.5's, although their intended use is out west.

 

post #53 of 57

I'll chime in.  Just landed back from two weeks in Whistler (where it's snowing a lot now, of course).  We had a wide mix of conditions; overcast/foggy layers with small overnight snow for the first five days, heavy rain on the first Thursday night and continuing into the Friday, a true pow day on the middle Sunday and a consolidation of that powder over the following week or so (cut-up pow turning to light crud and then skied-out, flattened heavier crud).

 

Before I went I had two skis prepped; Head Monster iM78 (183cm) and Head Mojo 94s (187cm).  Based on the forecast immediately before leaving I opted for the Mojos.  I skied 13 of 14 days on the Mojos, and spent a demo day (second Wednesday, I think) on the Magnum 8.5ti (181cm) [edit - demo was from Fanatykco].  With perfect hindsight it was a wash between the two Heads as to which was the better ski for me over the fortnight, but I do think the best option across the mix of conditions we faced was the 8.5ti.

 

If you're limited to one ski (e.g. travelling overseas), have to take whatever conditions you get (i.e. travelling overseas) and are looking to tackle off piste and bumps, the 8.5ti is a fabulous option.  I'd like to compare it back-to-back with the 8.7 (never tried) and the MX88 (tried and loved a couple of times) before making a final decision, although I'm not likely to get the chance.  I'm on board with all that has been said in this thread - I certainly missed the energy of a carver on piste - but the versatility in the bumps and crud certainly mitigated against that.  It's just a matter of choosing where and what you'd like to compromise.

 

Note that I also spent a couple of hours zooming around the groomers on a demo pair of Head Rev 84 (184cm) and a Rossi Pursuit (177cm from memory) to get a general idea what my Monsters would have been like in the same conditions.  I also noted a real lack of sub-90mm skis in the mountain demo hut/yurt - everything seemed slanted towards 90mm and up.  The Solly Rockette 90s were a huge hit with the ladies, by the way.

 

I'm just pointing out there are times when a quiver isn't always available and the mid-80s ski represents the all-rounder of choice (presently a big hole in my quiver).  In my opinion the Magnum 8.5ti is taking this category in an interesting direction.  Great ski.

 

So, the Mojos will go up for sale in coming weeks, and I'm now looking for something in that space.


Edited by sinbad7 - 3/14/13 at 5:26pm
post #54 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

"Versatile frontsider"............For days when there is not much (if any) depth, and the off trail hasn't consolidated completely. This is the true reality of off piste skiing most of the time. For me, a Mag 8.5 Ti, Outland 87, or Rev 90 are three great choices here. These will handle the three days ago snow weirdness, old crud, and the firmish groomers equally well. For my tastes, this is not a "lost ski" at all. In fact, you can make the case that this is really the ski that the majority of skiers should be on. Of course.....everybody is all geeked out about deep snow these days even when they only see it once or twice a year. Hence the current trend is toward...............

 

 

 

SJ -- what's your comparison between these three?  Thanks. 

post #55 of 57

Hi ...question, what's your size?  I am buying the 8.5's but can't figure out if I should get 174 or 181?

 

Above average skier, athletic build, 5'8" 190 lbs.  thanks!

post #56 of 57

The 174cm should be plenty of ski for you.

post #57 of 57

Hi Dawg...question, I am about to purchase the Blizzard 8.5's, I have a pair of Volkl Kendo's 177's, so my question is should I go with the 8.5's 174 or 181's?  I am above average skier, 5'8" Athletic and 190 lbs.  (former hockey player).  And turning 50 in June.  Thanks, Italrunner

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